The Red Lightning Bolt On Dash: How To Reset Or Fix It?

red lightning bolt on dash

The red lightning bolt on dash is one of the most common issues in the Jeep. It may indicate a problem with the Electronic Throttle Control system (ETC). You can take professional service; however, having a better understanding of this would be helpful.

In any case, if you need to learn more about the issue, I am here to assist you. Read the full article for a better understanding.

What is the red lightning bolt on my dash?

Red Lightmimg NBolt

The Red lightning bolt is one of the most common sensors that appear on jeeps. Other sensors include the check engine light, check gauges light, and service shifter light. The red lightning bolt signal indicates a possible problem with the Electronic Throttle Control (ETC). It uses a sensor-based system to measure your car’s input pressure and open the throttle based on that information.

In old cars, a cable connects the throttle to the gas pedal, and the opening of this part depends on the amount of pressure applied to the pedal. The drawback of this approach is that it consumes a lot of fuel, that’s why the ETC system has gained more popularity in modern cars. 

What Is Electronic Control Throttle, ETC?

Electronic Throttle Control

Electronic throttle control is an innovation in automotive technology in which the accelerator pedal is electronically linked to the throttle in place of a mechanical linkage. Three major components make up an ETC system:

  • An accelerator pedal module, preferably with more than one independent sensor.
  • A throttle valve with an electric motor for opening and closing (also called an electric or electronic throttle body (ETB)).
  •  An engine control module (ECM) or powertrain control module (PCM).

Some Signs That the ETC Has Gone Bad

The electrical fault light is one of the dashboard’s most critical warning lights. When it flashes, it indicates a problem somewhere in your Vehicle’s electrical system. 

Here are some signs that indicate that there’s some issue with the electric throttle control.

  • No engine response when you are accelerating the paddle.
  • Inconsistency in the Jeep’s speed.
  • There needs to be a better response from the engine when it comes to acceleration.
  • Your cylinder remains unfired due to a malfunctioning combustion reaction; as a result engine misfires.
  • Vehicle fuel economy becomes less.
  • Facing difficulty when starting the engine.
  • The engine will run rough while idling.
  • The engine becomes idle at high speed.
  • Black smoke from the exhaust can also be a sign of malfunctioning ETC. 

What causes a red lightning bolt?

Faulty throttle control sensors cause a red lightning bolt on dash. The red light may also illuminate if the throttle body is dirty or if there’s any loose or broken connection with the electric system.

A Red Lightning Bolt indicates that the Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) module may malfunction. This could include:

  • In the ETS system, an open circuit exists between two components can be a reason for this issue.
  • A communication issue with the engine control module, or ECM, results in a slow engine speed or a faulty throttle opening.
  • One of the sensor inputs on the TPS signal wire has a shorted circuit involving both high-voltage circuits. A Red Lightning bolt might also indicate problems with your Jeep’s dashboard display screen, such as lines or inability to read it.

How to reset the red lightning bolt on the dash?

Most likely, it is a faulty blinking light, so you can first disconnect the battery for at least five minutes or reset the Vehicle’s computer. If the red lightning bolt is still there, then the other thing you can do is decode the error. Once you find the error, decide whether to fix it, or you want to replace the faulty part or sensor, or call the mechanic. You can also do throttle body cleaning to resolve this issue. 


If your Jeep has the red lightning bolt on dash, then there is supposed to be a problem with the engine throttle body or faulty sensors, so there’s no need to panic. You can determine this issue if your Jeep is not able to maintain a constant speed, is blowing black engine smoke, rough idling, has difficulty in engine starting, etc. Then it must be a throttle body issue or sensor issue. 

Decode the error if possible and then replace or fix the malfunctioning part. If it is unfamiliar to you, then you can contact the mechanic.

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